LAHORE: Local body elections in the provincial capital on Saturday remained largely peaceful as no major untoward incident took place despite extensive election activities and security threats.

Some incidents of clash between PML-N and Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) activists were reported in parts of the city.

The Quick Response Force and police acted immediately to defuse tension on receiving nine plaints of clashes. The Punjab Emergency Services (Rescue 1122) spokesman said the services received no complaint of firearm injury in Lahore on Saturday.

Police arrested seven people in Ghaziabad, Qilla Gujjar Singh, Johar Town, Kahna, North Cantt, Islampura and Millat Park for carrying weapons despite ban and lodged cases against them.

Sources said that the police also took into custody dozens of “troublemakers” late on Friday as a preventive measure.

Police officials denied, saying that though the detention orders of over 200 “troublemakers” of both the PML-N and PTI had been taken, no arrest was made as the contesting parties had given commitment to cooperate with the police officials.

The Faisal Town police recovered weapons from the vehicles of body guards of former Punjab governor Chaudhry Sarwar. The police took the guards to police station for violating 144 section and later released them after seizing their weapons.

Deputy Inspector General Dr Haider Ashraf said strict security measures helped police conduct elections peacefully.

He said over 15,000 policemen and officials were deployed in the provincial capital for security on the polling day. He said the Lahore police had arrested dozens of suspects for carrying licensed and illegal weapons in the last five days.

“The police had recovered 530 weapons, including 48 Kalashnikov, 234 pistols , 100 rifles and 78 guns,” he said, adding that the police also sought surety bonds through local courts and elders from the contesting parties.

Published in Dawn, November 1st, 2015

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